CD Projekt Red is shutting down The Witcher: Monster Slayer, its Pokémon Go-style mobile title released last year. The game will start winding down at the end of January before going offline for good at the end of June.
Unfortunately, that will also mean layoffs. As detailed in a FAQ (spotted by IGN), some developers at Spokko (the publisher’s mobile-gaming studio launched in 2018) who worked on the game won’t be staying. The publisher says it’s rolling Spokko into CD Projekt Red with only some staff making that transition.
The publisher will remove The Witcher: Monster Slayer from the App Store and Google Play on January 31st, 2023. It will also turn off in-game purchases and stop adding new content that day. Servers will remain up for existing players until June 30th.
Announced several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the mobile monster-slaying game seemed like a fair bet. With gamers antsy from a seemingly endless quarantine, a geocaching-inspired adventure requiring Witcher fans to go out into the real world (while still praciticing social distancing) could have captured the mood of the moment. But that never fully transpired as the title didn’t launch until the following summer when vaccination rates were rising, and life began regaining a semblance of normality. Whether you can trace the game’s shutdown to pandemic-related timing or not, CD Projekt Red admits it “did not reach our business expectations.”
CD Project Red recently announced a long-term roadmap, including a Cyberpunk 2077 sequel and several new Witcher games — none requiring you to leave your couch.